By Dave Messinger
Last week, Saugatuck Research published an interesting report, “Mapping, Planning, and Benefiting from Global IT Innovation“, recommending that enterprise R&D groups “broaden their ‘innovation portfolios’ by establishing or expanding innovation investment in areas and locations where innovation is growing – and being rewarded”. Looking outside your own company walls might not sound like a new idea, but the following prediction from Saugatuck’s report provides some urgency to take action on the idea.
“By YE2016, the shift by enterprises toward new IT being acquired as Cloud-based, IT-as-a-service will accelerate a shift by most IT providers away from technological innovation as a core value, and toward innovation in technology use, application, and management as a core value.”
The report talks quite a bit about the rise of developing countries, and why innovation centers are increasingly moving outside the United States and Europe. Having a worldwide talent base is critically important, but how we tap into that base, source ideas and enable innovation in our processes makes just as big of a difference. One of my favorite TED talks is Steven Johnson’s”Where Good Ideas Come From” where he describes the power of coffee houses in the 1600s and how new environments like that led to combining ideas and new levels of innovation.
It’s not too different from how we source ideas in our personal lives. Over the holidays I attempt to cook for our family gatherings, which in my case, means relying on recipes from sites like AllRecipes. Here I can find recipes and comments crowdsourced from people around the world.
Now I know there is no such thing as the perfect recipe to tap new markets and open innovation, but below are a few key ingredients.
Whether you use CloudSpokes or a different community, make sure it’s filled with people with various perspectives – from different regions, different backgrounds, different levels of expertise. As Jeff Howe mentions in his book Crowdsourcing, never has there been a time where people trust experts less and amateurs more. These days politicians rank just above used cars salesmen in terms of trust, and crowdsourcing provides an economic means to capitalize on the intellectual capital of the amateur class.
There’s no question that the most successful companies in the future will be those that can effectively leverage open innovation and worldwide talent. Open idea exchanges, cloud platforms (which are already innovating at great speeds) and open APIs combined with crowdsourcing communities can be a great starting point. Now if I could only crowdsource my cooking skills, my life and my family’s would be so much better!